Goodyear Blimps and U.S. Marines Hold Toys for Tots III
Goodyear and the Marines will build on the success of the first two drive-through events in 2010 and 2011. Those efforts saw a combined 4,942 vehicles drop off 12,534 toys and collect $16,343.00 at the Ohio base. All cash and toys go to the Toys for Tots program.
"These have been incredibly joyous experiences for us at Airship Operations," said Nancy Ray, Goodyear's director of Global Airship Operations. "This year, working with the Marines and Navy personnel is especially significant as Goodyear was recently named a top 100 Military Friendly employer by G.I. Jobs Magazine."
Open to drive through vehicle traffic only, the 800 foot-long hangar will be filled with holiday music and decorated in the holiday spirit as Santa waves from the blimp's gondola to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. A contingent of Marines in dress blues will be on duty to collect and organize the toys for distribution to needy children in the area.
"Being aboard the Goodyear blimp 'Santa Claus Express,' The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program realized a tremendous collection result at this event in 2010 that was more than doubled in 2011," said Marine Sgt. Ryan Johnson, a Toys for Tots coordinator. "We are looking forward to an even bigger year in 2012."
Hangar hours are Friday, November 30, 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday, December 1, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Sunday, December 2, 12 p.m. -7 p.m. The public is not permitted to park vehicles or walk inside the hangar and grounds. There is no charge and a donation is not required to drive through and enjoy the scene. The Goodyear blimp hangar is located in Suffield Township at 841 Wingfoot Lake Rd., Mogadore, Ohio 44260.
In 2011, Goodyear blimp bases in Florida and California conducted similar Toys for Tots operations. For 2012, the Carson, Calif. location will be collecting on December 15-16 from 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. The Pompano Beach, Fla. base will be unavailable this year while undergoing renovations.
These details are available online at www.goodyearblimp.com, on Facebook or by calling the Ohio base at (330) 796-8151 or the California base at (310) 327-6565.
Founded in 1948, it is the mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program to collect only new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December and to distribute these toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.